Yesterday, four Food Art students catered three extravagant meals for the Debate and Speech Association of British Columbia’s (DSABC) Annual General Meeting. Ginny H, Paula T, Aneka L, and Evelyn F have been organizing this event for the last few weeks and it was amazing to see it all come together. However, the journey leading up to yesterday’s event was not all sunshine and rainbow. We spent countless hours reorganizing recipes, changing themes for the menu, cutting and adding dishes, and dealing with the constraints of securing our school as the venue for this event. After two afternoons of preparation (4-5 hours each) on Wednesday and Thursday, the date finally arrived. I met the organizers at 7:30AM and we quickly got to work on freshly baked pastries, muffins, scones, and breads for breakfast service. As members of DSABC arrived, they were dumbfounded by the spread of baked goods and fruit parfaits that awaited them in the library. The students were excited – there were people that were thoroughly enjoying their food! As the excitement grew in the kitchen and the word spread that the participants of the AGM were impressed, students got right to work to prepare the multi-course Greek buffet that they had planned. Since I am also part of the DSABC I sat in on parts of the meeting and left students to take charge of their menu. The organizers took charge and their volunteers were efficient, prepared, and determined. All in all, lunch was served and received with more dropped jaws at the spread of Greek food, and many of the attendees asked if we were for hire! After lunch, students prepared more baked goods and treats for patrons to take home make-your-own goodie bags – they were in utter awe! The event was a true success!
I am undoubtedly proud of this group of students for taking charge of this event. When I first introduced the event to the class I was doubtful that anyone would want to take on a 3-meal event for 40 people. However, after I offered a list of events for the year, these four impressive students jumped at the opportunity and I could not be happier with their achievements.
Along the same lines, I also found this to be a slight turning point for me as a teacher of home economics. As home economics teachers, we often find ourselves in controlled environments; with the increasing and oversized class sizes we ensure that all students are safe in our crowded home economics classrooms. To do that, we often exercise a level of control in which all behaviours are expected to be consistent (most of which make perfect sense for the safety of students and others). What I am trying to do in my own practice is to promote “play“. Now, this is not type of playfulness that includes “playing” with sharp objects; rather, the type of playfulness is one where students are able to create, organize, plan, think, and follow through in the ways they know how – this may seem a nonissue in classes that consist of rows of tables and chairs, but is a different story in home economics. At the same time, as an instructor, I see my role in this situation to be there for situations where clarification, advice, opinions, or comments are requested. This type of home economics classroom is a far cry from what I experienced in my schooling and in my classroom observations as a Education student, but I feel a comfort in the unexpected and the unplanned (I can hear the gasps and disapproving hums, haws, and guffaws). I recently had a conversation with a friend who teaches in an inner-city secondary school in Vancouver. She was worried that she seemed to be planning “du jour,” where she was offering her students what was trendy in foods and nutrition instead of using the same materials from the same binder year after year. To be honest, I love what she is doing – and although we aren’t the norm, I believe one day we will be, and someday we will be the traditionalists.
As promised, here are some snapshots from our event yesterday!
Frozen Mocha Cheesecake
Chocolate & Vanilla Profiteroles
Fresh Fruit Salad
What was left of our morning Pastries
(Pumpkin Scones, Maple Oat Scones, Carrot Flax Muffins, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, Cinnamon Rolls, Cinnamon Cranberry Rolls, Chocolate Rolls, Blueberry Streusel Muffins)
Tzatziki and Parsley Dips